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USDA Invests $591,441 in 11 West Virginia Projects to Assist Rural Businesses and Agricultural Producers

Name
Andrew Stacy
City
Morgantown
Release Date
Dec 15, 2022

 Department Makes Funding Available Under the Inflation Reduction Act to Expand Renewable Energy in Rural Communities

MORGANTOWN, Dec. 15, 2022 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development West Virginia State Director Ryan Thorn announced today that West Virginia rural small businesses and agricultural producers will receive a total of $591,441 through the Rural Energy for America Program. Thorn also announced that the Department will make an additional $300 million available for this program in the coming days, $250 of which was made possible by President Biden’s historic Inflation Reduction Act.

“The eleven investments we’re announcing today affirm USDA’s commitment to support rural West Virginia communities,” said USDA Rural Development West Virginia State Director Ryan Thorn. “These investments demonstrate how Rural Development’s programs offer climate-smart solutions that provide small businesses the opportunity to reduce their energy consumption and bolster their bottom line, which allows them to reinvest in growing their business and create jobs. I would encourage others to reach out to our State Energy Coordinator and explore what the REAP program can do to support their operations.”

The Rural Energy for America Program helps farmers, ag producers and entrepreneurs purchase and install renewable energy systems and make energy efficiency improvements. It reflects the many ways USDA Rural Development helps agricultural producers and rural small businesses lower energy costs.

In West Virginia, 11 rural businesses and agricultural producers will benefit from the Rural Energy for America Program:

Berkeley County

  • Mullenix Commercial Plex, LLC will receive $32,355 to purchase and install a 65-kW solar array at its commercial facility in Martinsburg, West Virginia. This project will realize $12,357 per year in savings and will replace 82,385 kWh (100 percent) per year, which is enough electricity to power six homes.

Cabell County

  • New Wind Rising Farm will receive $19,580 to purchase and install a 14-kW solar array. New Wind Rising Farm is a family-owned cattle and bee farm. This project will realize $3,004 per year in savings and will replace 17,790 kWh (100 percent) per year for a greenhouse and toolshed, which is enough electricity to power one home.
  • Level 1 Fasteners has received $16,289 to make energy efficiency improvements with the purchase and installation of LED lighting throughout a manufacturing facility. BEK, Inc is a business that manufacturers bolt and metal fasteners nationwide. This project will realize $13,424 per year in savings, and will replace 134,173 kWh (50%) per year, which is enough electricity to power 11 homes.
  • F & L Electronics, Inc. will receive $31,229 to purchase and install a 19-kilowatt (kW) solar array. F & L Electronics is a family-owned electrical part small business. This project will realize $4,195 per year in savings and will replace 62,400 kilowatt hours (kWh) (93 percent) per year, which is enough electricity to power five homes.

Grant County

  • Hotel 1841, LLC will receive $49,999 to purchase and install insulation, windows, lighting, and an exhaust fan. Hotel 1841, LLC owns and operates a Hermitage Motor Inn in Grant County. This project will realize $6,579 per year in savings and will reduce energy costs by 65,216 kilowatt hours (kWh) (63 percent) per year, which is enough electricity to power five homes.

Hampshire County

  • Direct Answer, Inc. will receive $19,947 to purchase and install a HVAC system. Direct Answer Inc. operates a commercial building in Hampshire County. This project will realize $3,986 per year in savings and will reduce 28,741 kWh (33 percent) per year, which is enough electricity to power two homes.

Hardy County

  • Davis Hill Development, LLC will receive $285,585 to purchase and install a 662 kilowatts solar system in Old Fields. Davis Hill Development is a newly created entity for the purposes of generating electricity. The system is estimated to produce 924,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) per year, which is enough electricity to power 77 homes.      

Kanawha County

  • WindyAcres, Inc. will receive $9,000 to purchase and installation of a 6.45-kW solar array. WindyAcres is a family-owned venue rental business. This project will generate 9,228 kWh (100 percent), which is enough electricity to power one home.

Marion County

  • Climate Controlled Storage Plus, LLC will receive $28,043 to purchase and install a 64-kW solar array at its storage facility near Fairmont. This project will realize $7,974 per year in savings and will replace 73,838 kWh (97 percent) per year, which is enough electricity to power six homes.

Marshall County

  • Handley House, Inc. will receive $69,128 to purchase and install LED lighting and a heating and air condition system. Handley House maintains and leases commercial space in rural Marshall County. This project will realize $7,738 per year in savings and will replace 62,974 kilowatt hours (kWh) (50 percent) per year, which is enough electricity to power five homes.

Pendleton County

  • Samber Mountain Poultry, LLC will receive $30,286 to purchase and install a 56-kilowatt (kW) solar array. Samber Mountain Poultry is a family-owned poultry farm. This project will realize $3,027 per year in savings and will replace 68,970 kilowatt hours (kWh) (100 percent) per year, which is enough electricity to power five homes.

USDA also announced today that it will make $300 million available under the Rural Energy for America Program to expand renewable energy and support energy-efficiency projects for people living in rural America. This funding includes $250 million provided by the Biden-Harris Administration’s historic legislative package known as the Inflation Reduction Act. The deadline to apply for grants is March 31, 2023. Applications for technical assistance grants are due Jan. 31, 2023. Applications for loan guarantees are accepted year-round.

Interested applicants are encouraged to contact USDA Rural Development West Virginia Energy Coordinator Robertho Briceno at (681) 247-3007 or Robertho.Briceno@usda.gov well in advance of the application deadlines to discuss their project and ask any questions about the REAP program or the application process. Additional information on the required materials and how to apply for the REAP program are available in the Dec 15, 2022, Federal Register.

Background:
The Rural Energy for America Program investments announced today reflect the goals of the Biden-Harris Administration’s Inflation Reduction Act.

In August, Congress passed the Biden-Harris Administration’s historic legislative package known as the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) to reduce energy costs for families and create thousands of good-paying jobs for people across rural America. IRA represents the largest single investment in rural electrification since the passage of the Rural Electrification Act in 1936.

The Act provides funding to USDA Rural Development to help eligible entities purchase renewable energy and zero-emission systems and make energy-efficiency improvements that will significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Under the Biden-Harris Administration, Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities, create jobs and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural, Tribal and high-poverty areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov. If you’d like to subscribe to USDA Rural Development updates, visit our GovDelivery subscriber page.

USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. Under the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, ensuring access to healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate, smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov.